Ben Pearce believes Danablue has gone under the radar and can turn the tables on Zuccheros at Belmont on Saturday.
Danablue will have to go one better and gain three lengths on Zuccheros who proved too strong on soft going last fortnight.
Punters have ignored Pearce’s optimism and despite a weight swing to Danablue they have pinned their faith in Zuccheros.
The Adam Durrant-trained six-year-old, who is on the hunt for three consecutive wins this campaign, is the TAB’s $3.60 favourite.
Wild Stratus ($4.80), Hobart Jones ($7.50) and Petrol Power ($8) are in single figures with Danablue rated one of the outsiders ($16).
The Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour September 8 Handicap (1200m) will be Danablue’s third start back this campaign.
The six-year-old finished five lengths 10th behind Rebel King in the Bolton Sprint (1200m) before finding himself in the unfamiliar role of pacesetter against Zuccheros.
“He got left there in front and it wasn’t really where we wanted to be,” said Pearce on TABradio.
“He is probably a horse that goes under the radar a bit and is always going around at some pretty good odds.
“When you look back through his form he has beaten some good horses and ran second in a Bunbury Stakes (1400m).
“First up without a trial it was a pretty big assignment for him and he ran a pretty good race without getting beat too far.
“It’s another pretty decent field but he will be right in it.”
Raising Dubai’s consistency and record on soft going is certain to attract admirers in the Book An Exhibition At Perth Racing Handicap (1600m).
The six-year-old produced a top win on his return earlier in the month and backed up with a solid one length second to Young Lionel two weeks later.
In a wide market with several winning chances Raising Dubai, who has two wins and a placing from four starts on soft going, is rated a $7.50 chance.
Military Ruler ($5.50) holds narrow favouritism over Street Bandit ($6) and Raindance Maggie ($6), with Rattlehead ($7.50) sharing the third line with Raising Dubai.
“He seems to be getting better with age and each time he returns he is Mr reliable,” said Pearce.
“He is in form and I’m sure he will produce and run another good race tomorrow.”
Danablue and Raising Dubai can give the Pearce stable a boost with stable mate Mad Brad’s Kalgoorlie ambitions going amiss.
The son of Zentsov Street was enjoying a productive campaign after taking out the Batavia Sprint (1300m) in Geraldton earlier in March.
He ran a slashing third when resuming in the Beaufine Stakes (1000m) and placed second to Ideal Image two weeks ago.
But the five-year-old’s comeback has been put on indefinite hold after falling seriously ill earlier in the week.
“He came down pretty ill and is over at the vets,” said Pearce.
“He will be out of action for a while.
“It wasn’t looking good at one stage and he was fighting for his life.
“But we got onto it pretty quick and he seems to be responding well.”
RWWA: Julio Santarelli